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Color Spotlights

The Filomena Opts for Flagstone

By Lindsey |


Tile Shown: 2x8's in Flagstone // Design: The Filomena // Image: Zio and Sons 

Michael Bolognino and Nick Spain are the masters of mixing old and new in their 1850s Italianate mansion adoringly called "The Filomena" (after Michael's grandmother) in West Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Nick and Michael opted for our Flagstone 2x8's in their newly renovated kitchen where the straight stack handmade tile provides a modern juxtaposition to the classic architectural details found in the space. 

We caught up with this dynamic duo to discuss their design process and what it was like to undertake a whole home renovation (for the first time!). 


Nick Spain (left) and  Michael Bolognino (right) with their dog, Crouton // Image: Zio and Sons

About Michael and Nick:
Our style can be described as...A juxtaposition of contemporary and historical elements.
Our design philosophy is...Design should make you feel something.
We got our start…Making a few cosmetic tweaks to our NYC apartment. Nick's background is in design/art marketing.
We find inspiration in…Everything: Estate sales. Bold colors. People.
We can’t live without…Greenery of some kind, and of course our SodaStream.
Our best design advice would be…Form doesn't always have to follow function.
We love Tile because…It’s classic and has such a rich and varied history, and Michael’s grandfather was a tile mason from Sicily.
Our favorite Fireclay color is…Definitely Flagstone. 
Our top 3 Fireclay product picks are…Of course the 2x8 field tiles, Black Hills glazed thin brick, and the classic 2” hexagon.


Image: Zio and Sons

How did you come across The Filomena? 
We’d had our eye on it for a while. It was one of those listings that keeps popping up and you think ‘How beautiful! I could never take that on.’ We saw the house on New Years Day of 2016 on a whim and it was in a real state of disrepair -- animals in the attic, leaky pipes, moldy carpet, no heat, knob-and-tube wiring. But even though no one had been living in it for 4 years and it hadn’t been taken care of, it was still such a beautiful space. We didn’t change things as much as we tried to enhance what was already there, though there were some bathrooms that needed some major upgrades and the ground floor needed to be reworked for a more modern lifestyle. But mostly we like to think we just gave it a lot of love.


Image: Zio and Sons

What type of aesthetic were you going for in your home? 
We love blending past and present. We wanted the home to be vibrant and reflect our tastes, but at the same time very relaxed. We believe that spaces should feel approachable and just make people happy.


Image: Zio and Sons

Did you work with a designer or architect on any of your projects?
Michael’s sister-in-law Elizabeth Bolognino is an interior designer and was there to walk us through a few of our big decisions, but for the most part, it was just us, trying to create something we loved and hoped other people would too.


Image: Zio and Sons

How did you come up with your color scheme and design in your kitchen?
We started with the marble -- it’s Danby White Mountain from nearby Vermont and worked from there. We pulled out some greys for the cabinet doors and of course, some of the greener veining for the flagstone. The ceilings are 13’ high, which is why we decided to take the cabinets way up high, in line with the top of the windows.


Tile Shown: 2x8's in Flagstone // Image: The Filomena

Why Fireclay?
We did a lot of research online and found a bunch of inspiration photos from Fireclay on Pinterest. Fireclay Design Consultant, Emily helped us from start to finish and was super helpful especially when the square footage kept changing. It also really helped to pop into your San Francisco showroom during a break from a work trip to see things for ourselves. Y’a’ll sent us home with about 6 different sample sets in our suitcase, and having a selection to touch and feel helped us make the final decision.


Tile Shown: 2x8's in Flagstone // Image: The Filomena

What made you go for Flagstone in a vertical 2x8 stack?
We chose Flagstone because it works great with our marble, and we liked how modern the straight stack is. One of our design principles throughout the house was to mix old and new, so we felt that the modern vertical lines played great against the geometry of the grid patterned (original) trim on the ceiling.


Tile Shown: 2x8's in Flagstone // Image: The Filomena

** For those already wondering, the grout color is Light Pewter by TEC**

How did the installation process go?
We worked with a dad-son team named Josh and Wayne, and they killed it. I think it took Josh one day to do the install from start to finish. 

Installation day photos courtesy of The Filomena; Tile shown: Flagstone 2x8:

Final Result-- a labor of love:


Image: Zio and Sons

Any Advice for someone looking to take on their first renovation?
Get a great general contractor. Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Realize that you’re going to learn a lot about the worst parts of yourself, but that the good parts are inevitably going to shine through.

Nick and Michael are now taking on design consultations if you're loving their style as much as we are. Get in touch with The Filomena here

Want to take a piece of The Filomena home with you? Order your color samples online now. Need some help? Simply call, chat or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly. 

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